How to convince a relative to not go into credit card debt to get an iPhone 6

MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
755
262
How can I convince a relative to not go further into credit card debt ($5k currently) in order to purchase an iPhone 6?
I realize that I can't just say, "Stop being a financial idiot. Stop living beyond your means."
How to make saving $$ and not having credit card debt "cool"?

I was thinking about offering: An early $200 christmas present to be spent $150 on debt reduction and $50 on whatever

1) If she promises to stay with her current phone for 2 more years:

2) She read any 2 of these 3 books below (that I purchase)

3) She looks at the videos on http://www.ifa.com/videos/
in order to realize that if she starts now, she can really truly, passively accumulate wealth via low cost index funds. Without risking losing everything / hanging yourself with your own rope on e-trade as another relative has done. I think she feels being wealthy is something that only "other" people can accomplish.

4) We discuss key points from each chapter and videos once a week


The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke
(should be required reading for high schoolers and hip 20-somethings)

by Suze Orman
http://www.amazon.com/Money-Book-Young-Fabulous-Broke-ebook/dp/B000PC71Q4/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
I listen to Suze Orman's CNN show each week. It helps me to be more mindful with spending and make every major spending decision based on the Suze Orman "Can you afford it?" test.


Your Money or Your Life

by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, Monique Tilford
http://www.amazon.com/Your-Money-Life-Transforming-Relationship-ebook/dp/B0052MD8VO/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top



The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place

by Hill Harper, the CSI New York actor
http://www.amazon.com/The-Wealth-Cure-Putting-Money-ebook/dp/B0052RHF0E/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
 

rritterson

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2008
357
1
DC USA
Wrong forum for the question, really, since this a forum about iPhones and not one about finances, but, since you asked:

Offering her money not to spend money is like offering cocaine in exchange for not shooting heroin.

If she's truly just ignorant, start up a casual conversation, then give her a book to read. If you've tried before and she's ignored you, she's either not ready to listen or addicted to spending money. In those cases, you won't be able to help until she's admitted she has a problem and is looking for help.
 

legioxi

macrumors 6502a
Mar 2, 2013
639
75
First, I recommend not getting involved at all.

I realize that I can't just say, "Stop being a financial idiot. Stop living beyond your means."

If you must get involved this is EXACTLY what you say. Don't sugar coat it.
 

antiprotest

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2010
1,446
248
I do not believe your soft approach will work.

Best to use the harsh approach.

If that fails cut off all relationship lest she drags you down with her.
 

Arnezie

macrumors 65816
Oct 10, 2011
1,306
109
Pay for her to go through financial peace University with Dave Ramsey
 

mjb59463

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2012
368
125
I wouldn't offer to pay for her phone with conditions of some online reading and video-watching. There's a difference between offering a helping hand (medical expenses, housing) and enabling someone who has poor debt management skills (phones).

Tough love is required in these situations, as other people stated above, and I can attest to that having been in your friend's situation in the past.
 
Last edited:

AutoLode

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2014
235
3
Jet City
as soon as Apple catches up the supply with demand there is going to be an unprecedented glut of iPhone 6's on the market ie refurbs / returns / regrets etc. If she can wait 2 or 3 months I'll bet she can save 50%
 

cymolia

macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2012
528
20
Orange County, FL
How can I convince a relative to not go further into credit card debt ($5k currently) in order to purchase an iPhone 6?
I realize that I can't just say, "Stop being a financial idiot. Stop living beyond your means."
How to make saving $$ and not having credit card debt "cool"?

I was thinking about offering: An early $200 christmas present to be spent $150 on debt reduction and $50 on whatever

1) If she promises to stay with her current phone for 2 more years:

2) She read any 2 of these 3 books below (that I purchase)

3) She looks at the videos on http://www.ifa.com/videos/
in order to realize that if she starts now, she can really truly, passively accumulate wealth via low cost index funds. Without risking losing everything / hanging yourself with your own rope on e-trade as another relative has done. I think she feels being wealthy is something that only "other" people can accomplish.

4) We discuss key points from each chapter and videos once a week


The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke
(should be required reading for high schoolers and hip 20-somethings)

by Suze Orman
http://www.amazon.com/Money-Book-Young-Fabulous-Broke-ebook/dp/B000PC71Q4/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
I listen to Suze Orman's CNN show each week. It helps me to be more mindful with spending and make every major spending decision based on the Suze Orman "Can you afford it?" test.


Your Money or Your Life

by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, Monique Tilford
http://www.amazon.com/Your-Money-Life-Transforming-Relationship-ebook/dp/B0052MD8VO/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top



The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place

by Hill Harper, the CSI New York actor
http://www.amazon.com/The-Wealth-Cure-Putting-Money-ebook/dp/B0052RHF0E/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Look at it this way, no matter what she does with her finances she can never be dumber than this guy


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOWq5Zv81KQ
 

Greenone

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2005
405
0
This has been a big issue in my family too and my advice depends on whether she's your daughter and if so, what her age is. If she's young, and it's appropriate, you can try to help her with her problem in a way that's truly helpful. But money as you know is SO tricky when it comes to relationships and histories. It could be argued that this isn't your business and she needs to figure this stuff out on her own and you need to have better boundaries around money - especially if during her childhood you unintentionally contributed to her dysfunction in one way or another (not saying you have). However I think there are plenty of situations in which your getting involved is appropriate...it totally depends on the situation, unhelpful as that sounds.

If you think you have been part of the problem (e.g. you were unavailable when she was a kid so you compensated with money or things bought with money and she's equated money with love, or you enabled her, etc) you'd do well to be very cautious, respectful, nonjudgmental, non-controlling and non-hypocritical in how you approach her. Guilt-tripping, shaming and controlling rarely works, even if it's done in a passive (or passive-aggressive) way. If you were part of the problem - and again I'm not suggesting you were - it would be wrong to then point out she's got this problem as if it's all her fault. Not if she's an adult, cause that window's closed unless you're willing to really get humble, open up and own your part of it with her in a sincere, non-manipulative way. It might sound extreme but therapy together could even be helpful if there's lots of baggage or more to the story.

I've always been surprised that there's not more financial advisors who are also psychologists. Having a degree in both would be brilliant and exceptionally lucrative I imagine! ;)
 

Maaz

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2010
617
1
Lol is this a real post? No place for iPhone 6 forums, we aren't money saving experts.
 

Starfyre

macrumors 68030
Nov 7, 2010
2,778
993
Offer an incentive she can't refuse, but has to be contingent on an action you want her to take, ideally involving reducing debt to a certain point.
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,976
818
You can't force another adult to do anything. A couple of years ago I was 5k in debt. I joined the army and a year and a half later, I was 20k in the red.
 

MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
755
262
I asked the question here because I think the iPhone 6 in particular present a hard-to-resist purchase, even for those who are in credit card debt, with minimal savings, no 6 month emergency fund, etc. There is more emotional fervor for this piece of tech than any other I've seen in my lifetime. That's my perception, *and*, I feel it too - my iPhone 6+ is an "incredible" (quoting Tim Cook) piece of tech. I watched each UPS status update happen till it arrived at my front door. Kudos to Apple for that.


Offer an incentive she can't refuse, but has to be contingent on an action you want her to take, ideally involving reducing debt to a certain point.
Starfyre, I do like your modification of what I was proposing.

Maybe something like a skydiving lesson when she gets half way.


I wouldn't offer to pay for her phone with conditions of some online reading and video-watching.
Agree. What did you read that made you think I am offering to do that?


You can't force another adult to do anything.
Force? Of course not. She's not my daughter, but she is very important to me and we will always be in each other's lives. I just wish I had discovered this sooner - like when she was at $1k.

To those who suggest I not get involved: Advice noted.


A couple of years ago I was 5k in debt. I joined the army and a year and a half later, I was 20k in the red.
Exactly what I'm afraid of. $5k debt can turn into $10k debt and $40k debt in the blink of an eye. And the bankers LOVE it. I was at an event in New York that included people from the banking industry. I learned that some of their most profitable customers are the ones who:
- charge up to their limit of their credit card
- reliably pay the minimum each month
The more people who do that, the more bazillions$ they make... I'm confident that those same bankers are thrilled with the uptick in credit card balances and interest rate income they will see.

And to those card holders, credit card debt becomes an economic death sentence.


This would be an interesting factoid:
How much extra interest payment revenue will Bank of America, Chase, or Capital One receive in 2014 due to iPhone 6 purchases?


Dave Ramsey, buy her the book RIGHT NOW.
This one?
http://www.amazon.com/The-Total-Money-Makeover-Financial/dp/1595555277/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

I've heard of him but never seen his show. Is he available via Downcast?
I think I'm getting him confused with the guy on CNN who yells a lot.


I've always been surprised that there's not more financial advisors who are also psychologists. Having a degree in both would be brilliant and exceptionally lucrative I imagine! ;)
Great point! What's missing here is the emotional component - something that makes figuring out a way to get out of credit card debt AND executing on that plan as much fun as ... buying an iPhone 6.
 

RByers8252

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2014
137
14
Just let her buy it on next or jump or whatever her carrier offers. No interest and guaranteed to be paid off in 2 years.
 

taedouni

macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2011
1,113
27
California
She can simply get a job (didn't see anything about her working). Everyone is in debt at some point in their lives. If she's getting it subsidized then I personally don't think that $300-330 extra will make a significant difference. It looks like she just needs to work to start paying them off.
 

b3av3r

macrumors regular
Dec 9, 2012
185
0
Louisiana
My first piece of advice would be to say what you want to say in short, simple, blunt sentences and walk away from the situation.

If someone is in serious debt, and 5K may not be a lot of debt depending on the income, and they are considering sinking even further in debt over a cell phone then being nice about the problem won't work. Also, giving a "gift" and then listing rules and regulations on how that "gift" can be used is a quick way to alienate someone or at least piss them off.

The problem with helping someone with financial problems is that in order to truly help you need to have access to all their finances. Most people don't want other people to have this type of access even if they are a relative. I would start with giving them the books and helping them create a realistic budge that helps them pay off their debt.
 
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